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Old Dec 13, 2006, 6:34 PM   #1
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I am very interested into getting a DSLR camera as i am getting into photography. Most cameras i have had had fixed lenses, therefore i have never had to choose from a large selection of lenses. Now with SLR cameras i see lenses with things like 18-55MM but i have no idea what that means. Can someone give me an explanation on what these numbers mean and not just the MM stuff, everything if you can.

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Old Dec 13, 2006, 9:38 PM   #2
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The focal length, usually expressed in millimeters, defines the field of view. A good example of what can be expected for the various focal lengths can be found at http://www.tamroneurope.com/flc.htm

The field of view of a lens is defined by the size of the sensor or film. When the focal length is about the same as the diagonal measurment of the frame the field of view is about the same as what you would see with the naked eye and this would be called a normal lens. This can be 50mm for a 35mm film camera (35mm film refers to the width of the film stock and the frame is 24mm by 36mm also referred to as full frame.) and 30-35mm for most DLSRs. Note that the web site mentioned above has buttons for 35mm and digital format views. Any focal length less than a normal lens is called a wide angle lens and those longer than a normal lens would be called a telephoto lens.

What range of focal lengths you want will depend on your shooting preferences and budget.

When buying camera equipment remember: Fast, Good, Cheap. Pick any two!

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